Editor’s Note: For Spring Break 2023, The Bridge Collegiate at Missouri Valley and Mizzou teamed up with the University of Central Missouri BSU for a mission trip to Palm Harbor, Florida. The two ministries worked with Calvary Church at their Crystal Beach campus. The following report is written by Campus Missionary Marita Avilez with quotes from The Bridge Director, Scott Westfall.
On Sunday, we attended the church’s “Starting Point” class. The purpose of this class is to help those thinking about joining the church to discover their point in their Spiritual Journey. We learned several tools such as the 3 Circles and the Disciples Triangle. That evening we attended their “Pipeline” training. This is a monthly training class for upcoming leaders in their church. We heard from 3 missionaries who explained how they ended up in their current locations, shared what God was doing there, and challenged us to be on mission, locally and internationally.
The rest of the week, the church interns did training sessions with us. They did an amazing job teaching us how to share the Gospel and our testimonies. They trained us on how to study the Bible, disciple others, and launch others into leadership. We were taught how to connect with Muslims and share the Gospel in way they would understand.
We didn’t just learn on this trip though—we got to put it into action! One day, students were put into groups to practice sharing their testimonies and then had an opportunity to share in front of the whole group.
We spent several afternoons at the beach, asking people how we could pray for them and trying to have intentional gospel conversations. Several students in our group had the opportunity to share the gospel with non-believers. One day we visited a Muslim Mosque and had the opportunity to talk with some Muslims while there.
Hailey shared with me that this trip helped her “understand how much of an impact we could make on the world just by sharing the Gospel on campus at MVC. We have people from all over the world here. Just imagine what it would be like for these students to go back to their countries with the Gospel that they have heard!”
On Sunday and Wednesday, we had the opportunity to help lead their children’s and youth programs. Thursday we helped make pancakes for the Calvary Young Adults (college/career group) and attended their service with them.
The last day in Florida, we had a free day to explore St. Pete’s Pier and Clearwater Beach. It was amazing to see our students still on mission—they were asking people how they could pray for them and having Gospel conversations all along the way!
Earlier in the week several students said that they wanted to follow Christ’s command to be baptized so that last day Scott baptized 4 of our students at the beach. This also attracted a crowd and created some gospel conversations.
I got to baptize four guys. Two were young when they got baptized and did not understand what salvation meant. One was baptized as an infant and wanted to follow in believers’ baptism. And the other was saved a couple of years ago and just had not been baptized. —Scott Westfall
Overall, this was an amazing trip. Our students soaked up the trainings and were so excited to put what they learned into practice! Even as we returned, they are fired up and want to be a light on our campus!
On the Moval Florida mission trip, we had incredible training on evangelism and discipleship. David Petrov, a Mizzou student, was challenged to make an oikos map of people he could share the gospel with. As soon as he got home he called his childhood best friend and shared the Gospel. – Scott Westfall
“This week God has taught and showed me a lot of things. He showed me how much bolder I need to be in my faith. How simple that can be. He’s also reminded me that through Him amazing things are possible.”
-DeAngelo Davis, Moval
“I enjoyed this experience because of the growth I was able to witness in the group and myself. I also enjoyed evangelizing on the beach and would like to do more on campus.”
– Cedric Davis, Moval
“This trip taught me that I am not the only one struggling, whether that would be with temptations or trials. I enjoyed learning more about God and getting closer to him.”
– Hailey Harmon, Moval
“God taught me how to share his Word easier. He also gave me so much more confidence in sharing. I grew by making friends and going out of my comfort zone. I got to spend amazing time with some amazing people. I’m going to teach people the three circles method.”
-Izzy Pearson, Moval
“God taught me that I am capable of so much more than I think I am. I can make impacts on people without realizing.”
-Shane Rodriguez, Moval
“I learned this week to stay faithful, never give up, be patient, and just push through because there is going to be a great reward in the end. I’m also just super encouraged to take what I learned on this trip and bring it to Moval.”
-Trista Arnold, Moval
“The way we connected with the other group, coming from a very introverted person, was unreal. I feel like I have known them for as long as I have known the people at Moval, and that says so much more than what you’d ever know.”
– Mariona Bolao, Moval
“I’m very thankful that you guys made this trip happen. I will always cherish all the moments that I experienced throughout this trip!”
-Rubal Pradhan, Moval